The Australian’s biographical sketch of Kwame Anthony Appiah
July 20, 2012
Posted by on
can be found here. Appiah’s (Princeton) webpage is here.
By the time he was 10, he decided he would be a doctor when he grew up. Within months at Cambridge, however, he realised he had made a terrible mistake.
“They start you in dissection pretty much straight from the beginning, so I had a body to deal with … ” he says wryly. “But it was more that I was very interested in philosophy and the things they taught us medical students were very uninteresting intellectually. I mean, anatomists are teaching you stuff that’s been known in their science for 500 years. They just weren’t able to communicate any sense of intellectual excitement.”
Appiah switched to philosophy and joined the hardcore British analytic tradition, light years away from the continental preference for real-life situations that seems to permeate his books. He wrote his dissertation on probabilistic semantics – don’t even ask!